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Military Disability Pay

A servicemember removed from the Temporary Disability Retired List (TDRL) who meets criteria as set forth in 10 U.S. Code Section 1203 is not eligible for Chapter 61 disability retirement but instead receives disability severance pay from the military. They are typically eligible under the following circumstances:

  1. The servicemember has less than 20 years of military service;
  2. The disability was not caused by intentional misconduct or willful neglect, or while the servicemember was AWOL;
  3. The disability is or is likely to be permanent;
  4. The disability is less than 30% and incurred in the line of duty or as the result of service;

If a military service member is unfit for duty, but not eligible for a normal 20-year retirement, he or she is separated with disability severance pay. The payment is not nearly as generous as the military retired pay, but it provides something.

What is the Amount of Disability Military Severance Pay?

There is a formula determined by 10 U.S. Code Section 1212 and it as follows: years of active duty service (maximum of 19) x 2 x base pay at the time of removal from the TDRL

The years and months of service are rounded to the nearest whole year with fewer than six months rounding down and six or more months rounding up.

The base pay is normally determined based upon the pay grade the servicemember was receiving at the time he or she was placed on the TDRL, however, if the servicemember was already selected for promotion when placed on TDRL, or had served in a higher grade, even if only temporarily, then the disability severance payments will use the higher pay grade. Disability severance payments are taxable and subject to income withholding (unless the disability was combat-related as determined by the military).

Disability Severance Pay and VA Disability Benefits

A military veteran receiving disability severance pay and also receiving a VA disability rating is also qualified to receive VA disability payments. The amount of disability severance is deducted from the VA disability benefits, unless the injury was in the line of duty in a hostile fire zone.

If you have a spouse who is receiving military disability pay, it is crucial to a fair outcome that you work with a knowledgeable and experienced military family law attorney. Call Pingel Family Law at (816) 208-8130 today to schedule your consultation. Put our knowledge and experience to work for your family!


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